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Nuclear watchdog chief on India visit

Posted on Mar 13, 07:04AM | IANS

New Delhi, March 12 : International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano is visiting India amid continuing protests over the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

Amano, who is visiting India March 10-15, will be meeting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai Wednesday and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday.

Amano's visit comes as Japan marked the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, which followed in the wake of a huge earthquake and tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

On Monday, Amano, addressing an event in Mumbai, said that public awareness was important to ensure nuclear power projects do not face opposition.

"Public acceptance is also an important issue. I know this has been a concern in India, as in other countries, and that there have been demonstrations against the construction of new nuclear power plants," Amano said in Mumbai, delivering the Indian Nuclear Society Silver Jubilee lecture.

To a question on protests against the Kudankulam and Jaitapur nuclear power projects, the IAEA chief said there was a need for sharing of information to ensure safety.

On Monday, around 8,000 fishermen in around 600 fibre boats staged a sea protest against construction of two 1,000 MW nuclear power plants at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

The protests are spearheaded by the People's Movement against Nuclear Energy.